Grilled Petite Sirloin Steaks with Roasted Poblanos (pictured above)

by Michael Vyskocil, photography by Nikola Tzenov

It’s Summer, and the Grilling’s Easy

Outdoor entertaining couldn’t be more delicious during the summer with an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables available in Carroll County. It’s time to get the grill going and serve up some seasonal delights to enjoy with your family this Father’s Day or Independence Day. The recipes on the following pages offer easy but delicious ideas for main courses, appetizers and a dessert. And even if the weather doesn’t cooperate for your celebration, you can still enjoy these dishes indoors by cooking them with a cast-iron grill pan on your stovetop.

Grilled Petite Sirloin Steaks with Roasted Poblanos

To roast the poblano, place it on the cooking grate of a medium-hot grill and roast until the skin blackens and becomes slightly charred. Remove the poblano from the grill and transfer to a piece of paper towel. Fold the paper towel around the poblano and let it steam for about 15 minutes. Use the paper towel to remove the charred skin from the poblano. Alternatively, you can roast the poblano under the broiler.

Makes 4 servings.

8 petite sirloin steaks 1 red bell pepper, chopped into 1-inch dice
Canola oil, for brushing1 thinly sliced roasted poblano, seeds and ribs removed
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to tasteJuice of 1/2 lemon
1 small onion, chopped into 1-inch diceJuice of 1/2 lime
1 clove garlic, thinly slicedLemon and lime wedges, for serving
  1. Heat grill to high.
  2. Coat sirloin steaks with canola oil; season steak with salt and pepper. Grill meat until desired doneness (about 5 to 6 minutes per side for medium-rare). Remove meat to a wire rack and let rest for about 5 minutes before slicing.
  3. In a medium skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon canola oil. Add onion and garlic. Saute, stirring frequently, until the onion and garlic pieces are fragrant and slightly golden, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add bell pepper, poblano slices, lemon juice and lime juice. If needed, add about 1/4 cup water to create a loose sauce consistency. Season mixture to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Reduce heat; simmer mixture until thickened, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  5. To serve, place sautéed vegetables on plate. Slice steaks into thin strips and place over vegetables in a fan shape. Serve with lemon and lime wedges.

Grilled Panzanella Salad

Use a day-old, rustic loaf of bread to make this Tuscan-inspired salad. Try adding olives or diced bell peppers in addition to, or in place of, the tomatoes and zucchini in this dish.

Makes 4 servings.

3/4 loaf dense country bread, cut into 3/4-inch-thick slices1/3 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, torn into bite-size pieces
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons olive oil1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3 large ripe beefsteak tomatoes, cut into 1-inch dice (about 4 cups)Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cucumber, cut into 1-inch dice (about 2 cups)
  1. Heat grill to medium. Brush both sides of bread slices with 3 tablespoons olive oil. Grill bread slices until lightly marked on both sides of the bread, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove bread from grill and let cool slightly. Cut bread slices into large cubes.
  2. Add grilled bread cubes, tomatoes, cucumber and basil to a large mixing bowl. Toss ingredients lightly to combine. Drizzle with vinegar and remaining 1/4 cup olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Toss ingredients to combine with vinegar and oil. Serve immediately.

Grilled Chickpea Burgers in Pita Pockets

This vegetarian burger makes a light yet satisfying grilled specialty. A food processor makes easy work of blending the ingredients for the burger mixture.

Makes 4 servings.

1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsedCoarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 scallions, trimmed1 large egg
2 slices white sandwich breadOlive oil, for brushing
1 teaspoon ground cuminPita pockets, lettuce, Dijon Mayonnaise (recipe follows)
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
  1. Heat grill to high.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine chickpeas, scallions, bread, cumin and parsley. Season chickpea mixture with salt and pepper. Pulse until mixture is roughly chopped.
  3. Transfer half the mixture to a mixing bowl. Add egg to the remaining half of the mixture in the food processor. Process until smooth; add egg mixture to reserved chickpea mixture in the bowl. Stir well to combine.
  4. Form the chickpea mixture into four 3/4-inch-thick patties. Brush each side of the patties with olive oil.
  5. Place over grill and cook about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Tuck the chickpea burgers into pita pockets with lettuce and Dijon mayonnaise.

Dijon Mayonnaise

Makes about 1/2 cup.

1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  1. In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise and Dijon mustard.
  2. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Grilled Peach Melba with Macerated Strawberry Sauce

Makes 4 servings.

2 large ripe peachesIce cream, for serving
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, meltedMacerated Strawberry Sauce (recipe follows), for serving
2 tablespoons light-brown sugar
  1. Heat grill to medium. Halve and remove pits from peaches; prick skins of the peaches lightly with a fork.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, combine butter and sugar. Brush butter-and-sugar mixture over peach halves, coating well.
  3. Grill peach halves on both sides until the fruit is tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from grill and serve warm, topped with a scoop of ice cream and a drizzle of Macerated Strawberry Sauce (recipe follows).

Macerated Strawberry Sauce

Makes about 1/3 cup.

1/2 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and washed well
3 tablespoons granulated sugar, or to taste
  1. In a medium saucepan, toss strawberries with sugar. Let berries stand for 5 minutes, or until juices from the berries begin to run.
  2. Cook strawberries over medium heat until the mixture thickens slightly, about 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from heat and press through a sieve into a bowl, pressing with a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible from the berries. Discard solids; serve strawberry sauce warm.